Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 1/4 cups (300 ml) 1% or 2% milk 3 tablespoons (45 ml) all-purpose flour 2 cups (500 ml) grated cheddar cheese (medium or aged) 1 cup (250 ml) 1% or 2% cottage cheese 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt , or to taste 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) pepper , or to taste 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) ground nutmeg 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried oregano 1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried basil 4 to 6 cloves, garlic , roasted (slice the top off of the bulb, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake at 400⁰ F (200⁰ C) for about 30 minutes or until soft) 10 to 15 cups fresh spinach , rinsed well (and stemmed if you have time) 1 cup (250 ml) plain, dry bread crumbs 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil 1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika 2 cups dry elbow macaroni (try whole wheat or vegetable)

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Preheat oven to 400⁰ F (200⁰ C). Coat 8-inch square or other suitable baking dish with oil. I prefer to sprinkle several drops of olive or vegetable oil into the dish and spread with a small piece of paper towel. Whisk 1/4 cup of the milk and the flour together in a small bowl or measuring cup. You will end up with a fairly thick, smooth mixture. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the rest of the milk (1 1/2 cups) over medium heat, until steaming. Stir frequently. Add the flour milk mixture and stir or whisk as it thickens. This will take 3 to 5 minutes approximately. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the grated cheddar cheese. Stir until melted. Add the cottage cheese, stir until melted. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, basil and nutmeg. Stir. In another pot or steamer, cook the spinach until just wilted. Stir the spinach so it evenly steams. Remove from heat after 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Press out excess moisture and transfer to a cutting surface. Chop and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together bread crumbs, oil and paprika. Add macaroni to boiling water, stirring to prevent it from sticking. Cook, stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Remove 4 to 6 garlic cloves from the roasted garlic. (squeeze out or lift out with the tip of a knife). Chop the garlic. Add the macaroni to the saucepan with the cheese mixture if the saucepan is large enough. Otherwise mix the macaroni and the cheese mixture in a large bowl. Add the chopped roasted garlic to this mixture. Use a spatula to mix evenly and thoroughly. Spread half of the macaroni cheese mixture evenly in the baking dish. Spread the chopped spinach on top of the layer of macaroni and cheese. Add the second half of the macaroni cheese mixture. Sprinkle the paprika breadcrumb mixture on top. At this point you could cover and refrigerate the dish overnight or for a day. Cover the baking dish with a lid or foil and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the bread crumb mixture is crispy. You may want to adjust the timing according to your preference to have the dish more liquidy or drier. Remove from oven and serve.


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